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- View Offline
- Understanding vector vs. raster data
- Modifying metadata
- Adding data to a map
- Importing data from online providers
- Labeling features
- Joining data
- Clipping data to a study area
- Working with map layouts
- Creating a legend
- Printing and exporting the map to a file
Skill Level Beginner
The final destination for many maps is some sort of printed output. Whether it's for inclusion in a report, printed at standard letter size on an office laser printer, or a reference sized wall poster printed on a large format plotter. ArcMap gives you lots of options for how to handle preparing your map for the final print. We've briefly seen the print and page settings window when we were preparing our initial layout view. And that's a key component of setting up the map for printing. So, let's go back to that. It's in the File menu, Page and Print Set-up here. Now, we can see the current printer for this computer. Set up as a letter-size page to print in a portrait orientation.
The map layout that we have set up down here in the bottom is set up to a letter page but at landscape orientation. We can see a representation of this over here on the right. Where the printer paper is this sheet here in the background, and the map layout is this element right over here. We can see that it doesn't all fit on the same page, and so we're going to have a tiling situation where multiple pieces of paper are printed next to each other in order to produce the final print. Let's go ahead and say okay, and we'll go ahead and check out the print preview under the file menu here. Here we can see a layout of what's going to fit on each page. I can press the Next button and a Previous button, to see what fits on each page.
Let's go ahead and close this out, and we'll fix this layout. I'll go to the File menu, Page and Print setup here. And I'm going to change my printer to print out a landscape page, so that these two match up again over here. I'll press Okay And finally we'll go to the file menu, and go to print. And we'll get a final confirmation of how this is going to layout on the paper. If there's any tiling going on, then we can adjust its options down over here. And we can also adjust the quality information for how rasters might print. So if I'm going to a final print, I can send this up to Best. Now if I just want a draft quality output, I can change this down to Fast.
But printing your map isn't the only way to get it out of ArcMap. If you just need a graphic to insert into a PowerPoint presentation, or having it printed by a commercial copy shop on a poster sized plotter, then you'll want to take a look at the export options. Let's go ahead and say Close to get out of this Print dialog box. I'm going to go up to the File menu, and take a look at Export Map here. You know, it's important to open this while you're in layout view to preserve the scale and design choices that you've made. If you open this while you're in data view, then you'll just get an output of whatever happened to be on your screen at that point in time. Now we've got a whole bunch of different options here for the files that we might want to save out of here.
If I'm going to an image file format, versus into a Powerpoint presentation or out onto the web I can choose from bitmap, JPEG, PNG, TIF, or GIF file formats. If I want to explore this layout in a graphics program, then I can export it into an EPS, or even an Adobe Illustrator file. But if I'm going to a commercial printer, then they're probably going to want a PDF file. So I'm going to choose that option here. On the general tab. We have the option to change the resolution of our output raster files. We can also change their quality ratio here by changing the slider. And over here on the advanced tab, I have the option to export PDF layers as well as export georeferencing information which can be taken advantage of in some PDF viewing programs.
I'm going to go ahead and change into my working folder that's within the data files directory. And I'm going to change this file to WashingtonDairies.pdf. Go ahead and say Save. And the file map gets outputted to that folder here. Let's go ahead and close ArcMap. And I don't need to save any changes here. I'm going to go into my Exercise Files, into the Data Files folder, and into the Working folder, and I'll find that PDF file. If I double-click on it. It'll open up in whatever program is set up on your computer to view PDF's. So getting your map out into the world, whether it's a piece of eight and a half by 11 office paper, to a wall map fit for a classroom, or for a file destined for an annual report or an article on the web, ArcMap has you covered with the printing and export options that are available right from the file menu.
By perfecting the details and layout view first, you'll have precise control over the final map's output and scale.